Half of all Canadians will get cancer in their lifetime, report says

Almost half of all Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the Canadian Cancer Society says in a new report. Prognoses for cancer patients are improving all the time — some of the most common forms of the disease now have survival rates over 90 per cent. But for conditions like pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis is still virtually a death sentence. In its latest annual report on cancer statistics, The Canadian Cancer Society tells a tale of progress and stagnation, and the vast disparities between different forms of the illness.“Cancer is a complicated disease,” said Dr. Robert Nuttall, Assistant Director of Health Policy at the Canadian Cancer Society. “It is really a hundred different types of diseases all (grouped) together.”Cancer is still the leading cause of death in Canada, accounting for over 30 per cent of all mortality in the country. Heart disease, the second leading cause of death, accounts for less than 20 per cent, according to the report, produced with Statistics Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial resources.Article Continued BelowIt’s sobering to think that one in every two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point, said Nuttall.“The important thing to remember here is that the biggest driver behind this is the aging population,” he added. “Canadians continue to live longer, and cancer is primarily a disease that affects older Canadians.”Nearly 90 per cent of all cancer diagnoses in Canada are for people aged 50 or over. About 45 per cent are for people 70 or over.